The negotiations between the Detroit Lions and defensive end Cliff Avril may be moving slowly, but things are certainly heating up in the press. In the last 24 hours, a few stories about the negotiations have come out, starting first with the news from Avril's agent that the talks were not progressing very quickly. Shortly after that, it came out in the Detroit Free Press that the Lions likely will place the franchise tag on Avril if a deal isn't worked out by March 5 (the deadline for tags to be used).
Today, the Avril camp responded with this bombshell:
Asked Avril if he'd be upset and maybe miss camp if Lions franchise tagged him. 'Probably'— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) February 18, 2012
The important thing to remember here is that receiving the franchise tag doesn't mean Avril will for sure only be offered a one-year deal for 2012. The Lions have said they would prefer not to use the franchise tag, and in all likelihood doing so would be to buy more time for negotiations. I doubt the Lions would plan on using the tag and having Avril play on the one-year tender in 2012. Rather, they would likely tag him in order to reduce the likelihood of him signing elsewhere while the negotiations continue.
I wouldn't start becoming too concerned about this situation just yet. As SideLion Report tweeted, the Lions want Avril back and Avril wants to re-sign, and neither side really wants to involve the franchise tag. Chances are this situation will be resolved before the possibility of a holdout becomes a legitimate issue.
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